• Picture shows the logo of German discount supermarket giant Aldi.

Picture shows the logo of German discount supermarket giant Aldi. (Photo : Getty Images)

Aldi, a German discount supermarket chain, is planning to start online sales in China this March. The company is hoping to appeal to Chinese consumers with their selection of wine, snack and breakfast products.

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Aldi will sell its own products through Tmall Global, an online platform operated by Alibaba. The company will use its Australian suppliers to serve the Chinese market.

The company stated: "An initial soft launch on March 20, which typically sees a product offered to a limited audience, will be followed by a full launch event in Shanghai on April 25."

According to a person who has knowledge on Aldi's China operation, Aldi has been increasing orders for six months since August, which is a sign that it is moving "slowly and sensibly" in China.

"The company will sell non-chilled groceries and wine, and the majority of these products will be sourced from Aldi's existing Australian suppliers," a spokeswoman for the company said.

"We know there is a strong demand among Chinese consumers for Australian manufactured products and our goal is to provide a competitively priced alternative for shoppers seeking quality groceries," she added.

A recent blog from Lebensmittel Zeitung, the leading trade and business paper of the consumer goods sector in Germany, downplayed the likely contribution from Australian suppliers. The blog said that Aldi intends to create a truly local assortment with products "made in Germany" as a topping.

Terry von Bibra, the manager of Alibaba Europe, said, "The Chinese middle-class was becoming more and more interested in Made in Germany products."

Woolworths, Australia's biggest supermarket, has been selling a variety of products through Tmall for more than a year. They sell products such as baby formulas, vitamins, UHT milk, diet powders, Weet-Bix cereal and Lucas' PawPaw ointment.

The company said that its sales to China were progressing well through Tmall.